Life And Death In Our Words
by Rico Uy
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Pr 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue...
THE WAR VETERAN WHO KILLED HIMSELF
General Angelo Reyes was a war veteran. He was able to endure all the hardships of a soldier--- hardships that were enough to break a human soul. In all those discouraging experiences, he was able to brook them all. It was only when people, some of whom were his friends, spewed out hurtful words against him that he gave in. Mind you, NOT THE WAR BUT THE WORDS broke him into pieces.
The saying: "Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words can never hurt me" is not true.
Some of the hurtful things in life are not those things which penetrate flesh and bones. But those things which pierce and impale the soul. This is not to defend General Angelo Reyes' act. This is to illustrate the truth of the words above.
THE FAMOUS POET WHO WENT MAD
The famous poet Charles and Mary Lamb became mentally ill and insane for a time in their lives. They never received encouraging words from their mother since childhood. All they heard were constant discouraging words and verbal put-downs day after day after day for years.
THE PRESIDENT WHO ENDURED
Abraham Lincoln was America's greatest president. He was a president so maligned, so turned out of shape by the verbal attacks of people. Many may have thought that he was no ordinary man, for if he were, he would have died of cardiac arrest.
You would rather be a pauper sleeping in the street than be Abe Lincoln (the president of the United States of America) with all those constant barrage of hurtful words hurled against his person.
They were so malicious and so full of ill-will that they were enough to make a man want to die a thousand deaths than hear those words.
It all ended in an assassination. Abe Lincoln dead. Shot down.
When Lincoln was frisked, one of the few things they found was his wallet containing pieces of paper (news clippings actually) that contained encouraging words. They were words appreciating his work as the president of the United States.
The man or men who wrote them may have thought little about what they wrote about him. But they did not know that he clipped them, kept and hid them in his wallet.
Because in all those torturous years, it was those clippings of notes that kept him going. From time to time, when down and out and alone, he would secretly pull out those paper clippings and read into his soul solace and strength. He was an ordinary man after all...with pieces of paper in his wallet.
Words can be weapons that destroy. Or they can be tools that build. Let's use them wisely.
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